Peter and I just returned from a trip to Australia. We visited Sydney, Cairns, Darwin and Melbourne areas. This seemed like a good experience to share with you so here goes the first installment!
The week before the trip was spent deciding what to pack and how to pack it. We decided to take a carry-on and a personal bag and not check any baggage. Neither of us like waiting in lines or waiting for lost luggage. We made a list of clothes and personal items, laid them on the guest bed and re-evaluated. I found Rick Steve’s Packing list for Women extremely helpful. www.ricksteves.com
In those bags in the above photo are clothes, personal items, cameras, lenses, binoculars, iPad, phone, notebook, collapsible cane and my sleep bi-pap machine. I’m planning on doing laundry once and air drying my hair when necessary! (By the way.. this plan worked!)
The news before we left was about the attempted plot by ISIS to behead a bystander in Sydney and about the Phoenix airport being closed due to a drug raid. The good news was that the Australian dollar hit a 6 month low! Interesting beginning to the trip!
We took the AZ Shuttle to Phoenix (2 hours) and US Air from Phoenix to LAX (2 hours). We boarded Qantas 10:05 p.m. for the 13+ hour trip. The flight was packed and we did sleep some. The food was good. I can’t remember the last time the airline served meals without collecting money on the spot!
The International Date Line messes with my head! Arrived in Sydney 6:10 a.m. and picked up our car at Thrifty. Fortunately Peter likes driving a shift and adapted well to driving on the left side of the road while shifting with his left hand. I was the designated navigator. I wished for larger letters on the maps many times!
We found our way to The Blue Mountains stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery and birds. The first bird we saw was the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
This is a beautiful large white bird with yellow crest that can lay flat against its head or stand up like a crest depending on its message! They are everywhere and they are many in number! We saw them on wires, in picnic areas, flying in flocks and pecking for food on the ground. They have yellow under the wings and under the tail and a raucous call. Hard to miss these guys!